Perfect for a crowd and often snapped up in seconds! Flaky, chewy and versatile if you prefer other topping variations too!
Asparagus Tart with Cherry Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
1/2 lb. puff pastry, defrosted if frozen (two pastry sheets)
Thaw puff pastry according to instructions. Open up puff pastry on clean dry work surface. Press out any cracks. Lightly flour top of pastry. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut out 4″ squares. Turn up the edges to form your own shell. Cut out 4” squares of foil, one for each tart. Put 1-2 T pie weights on top of the foil. (You can also use dried beans and rice for the weights. I even used pennies once. The idea is to keep large bubbles from forming during the prebake).
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the shells for 8 minutes, remove from oven, remove foil/pie weights and let cool completely on wire cooling racks. (This partial bake alleviates the problem of soggy bottoms). Before the pre-baked pastry cools completely, reinforce the edges you made.
Leave the oven on.
1/2 lb. (227 g) soft goat cheese
3/4 cup (183 g) whole milk
1/3 cup (75 g) salted butter, melted then cooled
2 eggs (110 g), beaten
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 T fresh thyme, chopped
1 T (14 g) olive oil for sauteeing
Mix all ingredients except the shallot, salt and pepper together in a small mixing bowl.
Saute shallot for about one minute in olive oil, remove, cool, and then add to the cheese mixture.
1 bunch young spring (thin is nice here) asparagus (about 1 lb. or 454 g), tough ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
8-12 cherry tomatoes [smell them first to see if they have that lovely tomato aroma] (in the off season, grape tomatoes are a nice alternative)
10 slices bacon
In a medium frying pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until just under the crisp point, 5-6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels. When cool, cut bacon into small crumbles and set aside.
Cook asparagus in pot of boiling salted water until just crisp-tender, about four minutes, depending upon thickness. Place in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Drain well and place on paper towels. Cut into 2″ pieces.
1 large egg, beaten with 1/2 tsp. water
Ladle 2 T of the goat cheese custard into the partially cooked pastry, spreading it as evenly as you can right up to the edge. Lay the asparagus, bacon, tomatoes and shallot mixture in an attractive way over the goat cheese. Brush the edge of the tart with the egg wash. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 400°F until the pastry is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve warm.